Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winter turns to Spring

Maumee Bay and the back roads near Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge offered up what might be considered the Littlest Week of Birding  (1 full day.)  The sky alternated spitting snow and pouring rain, but that only dissuades normal people.  We had a short period of time, and birds to see!

 Several Snow Buntings flaunted the rules at Maumee Bay.   These winter charmers resembled giant snowflakes flying wildly across the frozen beach to suddenly land in the most unexpected places.

Snow Bunting "parks it" on a bench.
Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs will soon be packing their bags and headed back north.  The pack ice on Lake Erie is breaking up and the blustering winds, too, will give way to the sweet songs of spring.

Ice pack on Lake Erie at Metger Marsh

"I hate winter."

This is quite possibly the saddest looking Bald Eagle I have ever seen, nearly worse off than our economy! It seems unpatriotic to post such a pathetic-looking example of our national symbol.  

He couldn't get any wetter. Wading at the edge of an ice flow, water lapped about his feet as the rain pours down. I was as relieved as he, when the precipitation let up for a short while. 

Red-winged Blackbirds have returned.
Photo, courtesy of Wiki

Clear song gave way, Konk-ka-ree...and the skies were filled with wave after wave of blackbirds.  Mostly Red-wings, with the occasional Grackle and Cowbird mixed in for good measure.

When the rains stopped, the waves of Red-winged Blackbirds... 

hop-scotched across the field, forging for seed.

A rollicking ballet of spring, with red emblazoned on the wing.


  1. What great pictures. We use to never see Redwinged Black birds in my area and saw them only when went up to Lake Erie fishing but they are down here now in south central Ohio and I see more each year. I love the picture of the breaking ice.

  2. We had a pair nest on our farm last year. First saw them on March 7. They are quite interesting to watch. Hope they return again this year. It's been very wet, so they should love it!